OVER THE years, the Bradford League has enjoyed the presence of countless men who have made their mark in county, and even international, cricket.
Yorkshire and England all-rounder Tim Bresnan added his name to that list last week when he turned out for Hartshead Moor in their Championship One victory at Wakefield St Michaels.
With Moor batting first, Bresnan joined skipper Adam Greenwood with one wicket down and added 22 runs before Mohammed Khan’s 66 helped lift their total to what proved a match-winning 183 as Bresnan (3-41) and his former Yorkshire clubmate Iain Wardlaw (3-22) bowled out the home side for 148.
That victory was crucial for fourth-bottom Moor, who are now 20 points clear of the relegation places with St Michaels (66 points), Ossett (66) and Scholes (61) all tightly packed in the bottom three.
Scholes picked up a very welcome first win of the season to raise hopes of avoiding a second successive relegation when they saw off second-bottom Ossett by 81 runs at New Popplewell Lane.
They will doubtless have their eyes on another victory when they make the short trip up the hill to Highmoor Lane to face Hartshead Moor, for whom Bresnan’s presence would be very welcome again with so much at stake.
Unbeaten half-centuries from Sami Ullah (54 not out) and Faisal Javed (53 not out) helped Batley to a surprise win over early season front-runners Keighley, lifting them into the top half of the table where six teams are separated by just 11 points.
They will be looking to close that gap further when they go to Gomersal this week, although skipper Richard Wear (6-39), and Chris Rhodes (4-19) bowled Gomersal to victory in their last game against a Baildon side who have also been amongst the leaders in recent weeks.
That left the Oxford Road men level with Hartshead Moor but, while Moor and Gomersal have improved their positions, Scholes showed just how much difference a win can make.
With St Michaels and Pudsey Congs the only clubs outside the district in the bottom half, there is still a big danger of relegation for at least one of the other four.
Ossett need to find a win at home to Pudsey Congs tomorrow, while St Michaels are at Bankfoot and East Bierley have a chance to push their promotion challenge away at Keighley in the other games.
Joint third-placed clubs Birstall and Hunslet Nelson meet in a key game for both in Championship Two tomorrow (Saturday). Defeat will leave the loser with a mountain to climb if they are to catch current runaway leaders Yeadon and Carlton.
Spen Victoria go to Buttershaw St Pauls for a mid-table clash in this division while Hopton Mills, also lying in a mid-table spot, go to second-bottom Liversedge with the Robettown Lane men needing a huge change in fortune to allay fears of relegation.